Monster In The Machine is hitting the road starting September 26 to spread the word about their ethereal debut album, BUTTERFLY PINNED, which was released August 21 on Emotional Syphon Recordings (ADA Distribution), the independent label owned by Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer. It was was mixed and recorded at the home studio of band mastermind and former Cellophane singer Shannon Crawford (vocals/keyboards/guitars) and at Henson Studios (formerly A&M Studios) in Los Angeles, CA.
The band will be performing three acoustic shows with Riders On The Storm (featuring Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzerek of The Doors) before heading out with Israeli band Rock Four on a three-week tour sponsored by KCRW-FM (the prestigious and groundbreaking Los Angeles radio station) starting October 6.
Accompanying Crawford on the jaunt will be Lats (bass, formerly with Memento), John Chase (guitar) and Jay Curry (drums). Doug Ardito (bass, who performed with Crawford in Cellophane) and Josh Freese (drums) appear on BUTTERFLY PINNED, but will not be part of the touring line-up due to prior commitments with other musical projects.
“Savior” is the album’s first single, which is currently heating up radio airwaves across the country. A video for the track was recently filmed in Los Angeles and will be ready to invade TV and the internet in the coming weeks.
Crawford has crafted a record that entrances the listener with swirling acoustic melodies and haunting, hypnotic electronics. From the infectiously incendiary chorus of “Under Your Shadow” to the sonic dreamscape of “Helicopter,” the music remains
memorable. Pristine melodies soar over brooding beats, and tracks like “Savior” convey a message of disenchantment and call for change. Underneath the beauty of the music lies an honest mirror reflecting social ills. Yet, hope for a solution exists. Issues faced include the death of our environment, religion’s contradictions and the perilous existence of an artist under the thumb of a corporation. These are some of the darker themes that Crawford delves into on BUTTERFLY PINNED.
Once Crawford was finished with the recording, he played the demos for longtime friend James “Munky” Shaffer, who he grew up with in Bakersfield, CA. “James has been my biggest cheerleader for years. He’d been on the fence about starting a label, and when I played him my first songs, he said, ‘That’s it. I’m starting it.'” Shaffer loved the music so much that he lent his guitar talents to the tense album closer “Don’t.” Imani Coppola also makes a guest appearance playing violin on “Shut the Door.”
Since its release, BUTTERFLY PINNED has been racking up rave reviews. To wit:
“Â…a slow, atmospheric album that recalls the glam shimmers of David Bowie (‘Under Your Shadow’), the whispers, falsettos and mellotron-induced psychedelia of Sparklehorse (‘Perfect’), a nervous Interpol keyboard dance groove (‘Savior’), and a trip-out on the early Cure (‘Dot On My Soul’)…Âbest sort of surprise.”
–Rob O’Connor, Revolver
“Â…an inspiring, incredible debut that must not be missed.”
–Rick Florino, Chord
“Â…BUTTERFLY PINNED is a stellar blend of pop, glam and classic rock filled with toe-tapping melodies, catchy hooks and enough attitude to maintain the band’s indie street cred.”
–Jeffrey Sisk, Daily News (McKeesport, PA)
“(Shannon) Crawford is simply amazing. As producer he gives this album a grand sound, while his guitar and keyboards as versatile as his vocals. Behind him, drummer John Freese and Crawford’s former Cellophane cohort, bassist Douglas Ardito, prove themselves the masters of rhythms from any age or genre. All told a stellar album, held together by its thoughtful lyrics, strong melodies, infectious choruses, and sheer creativity.”
–Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide
Check out Monster In The Machine at any of the following stops:
DATE CITY VENUE
With Riders On The Storm:
Wed 9/26 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
Fri 9/28 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
Sat 9/29 San Diego, CA 4th & B Theatre
With Rock Four:
Sat 10/6 Monterey, CA Monterey Live
Sun 10/7 San Francisco, CA Cafe du Nord
Tue 10/9 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
Wed 10/10 Costa Mesa, CA Detroit Bar
Thu 10/11 Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet’s
Fri 10/19 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Wed 10/24 Cambridge, MA The Middle East (upstairs)